Monthly Archives: January 2018

Democrats Seek Early Voting To Combat Low Voter Turnout

Michael Gormley reports in Newsday: “(f)or as little as $6 million in a $168 billion state budget New York could join 37 states in allowing voters to cast ballots before Election Day, to switch or join a party in time to vote in its primary, and adopt other measures to boost the state’s low voter turnout, Democrats said Tuesday.”

A complete listing of the Senate Democratic proposals can be found here:   http://bit.ly/2DOCaTN

 

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Early Voting Push Takes Step Forward In Albany

In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “A longtime push for early voting in New York took a step forward this month, with Republican Sen. Betty Little backing a bill that would allow voters to cast ballots up to two weeks before Election Day.”

The article also  quotes Assembly Election Committee Chair Charles Lavine: “We know that New York state, along with other states, could make it a whole lot easier for people to cast their ballots,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Long Island Democrat, “and in the Assembly, we work to intend to work to accomplish that goal.”

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No State Money For Early Voting In Budget

In the Daily Gazette, Stephen Williams writes “(the Governor’s) proposed 2018-2019 state budget released earlier this week doesn’t include any money for launching the initiative, but an estimated $6.4 million in costs are to be paid collectively by county Boards of Elections, which administer the local election systems.

It is exactly what county officials had feared. Counties say that isn’t fair to them, and voting rights advocates who had been hopeful there would be money for the initiative were disappointed.

“It’s an assumed cost for the counties,” said Jennifer Wilson, policy director for the League of Women Voters of New York State. “It’s essentially a new state mandate.”

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Candidates File Final Campaign Finance Reports Of 2017 Election Cycle

Samar Khurshid reports in the Gotham Gazette “(t)he recent citywide municipal election saw more than $53 million in spending, with nearly $42 million in private funds raised by candidates and more than $17 million in public matching funds disbursed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Candidates just filed their final campaign disclosures with the Board, which were due Tuesday, showing the last weeks of activity as the election cycle came to a close, and totals for the full campaign cycle.”

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Kavanagh To Urge Governor To Fund Early Voting

Senator Kavanagh, Good Government Groups, Legislators Urge Governor Cuomo to Fund Early Voting

(Albany, NY) — On Tuesday January 9th, at 12:00 PM, State Senator Brian Kavanagh will join with good government groups and legislators to call on Governor Cuomo to fund early voting in his Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Executive Budget proposal. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have already implemented this critical reform, and the press conference will highlight why including funds in the state budget is essential to ensuring early voting becomes a reality.

Who:
Senator Brian Kavanagh;

Other elected officials;

The Brennan Center for Justice;

Citizen Action;

Citizens Union;

Common Cause/NY;

The League of Women Voters of New York State;

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG); and

Transportation Workers United Local 100 (TWU 100).

When:
Immediately after Senate session — approximately 12:00 PM

Where:
Outside the Senate Chambers
Third Floor
State Street and Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12224

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Many Election Poll Workers Are Placed By Party Machines, Some May Influence Votes

In  a late December Gotham Gazette analysis, Ben Weiss explores how political organizations help appoint poll workers in New York City. He writes “The current system is “a cocktail of corruption that’s impossible for these people to not get drunk on,” concluded an experienced Democratic political operative who has worked on high-profile issues and campaigns and wished to remain anonymous for fear of impacting his political career.

“To my knowledge, I know there is a history of local poll workers affiliated with campaigns being placed in specific polling sites,” said Brian Cunningham, a City Council candidate in Brooklyn’s District 40 who is currently pursuing legal action after reports of irregularities at polling sites across his district, where incumbent Mathieu Eugene won a third term in November and is alleged to have illegally been in several polling places on Election Day.”

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In A Year Filled With Corruption Trials, Advocates See Potential For Reform

In the Times Union, Matthew Hamilton reports “Cuomo’s ethics agenda includes limiting outside income for lawmakers and enacting term limits for state elected officials through constitutional amendments. He has also proposed closing the so-called limited liability company loophole that allows contributors to skirt maximum political donation limits; and enacting procurement reforms aimed at safeguarding against corruption. Those proposals were pushed by the governor last year but stalled in the Legislature.”

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